Azaleas – When to Fertilize

Q: I continue to get mixed messages on when I should fertilize my azaleas. I have three of them, planted last spring. When is the right time to feed them?

A: It’s best to fertilize after blooms begin to fade but there is more to it than that. Fertilizing azaleas should be based on how the plant appears and what you want to accomplish with it. Old, established shrubs don’t need much food. A tablespoon of 10-10-10 per foot of height is sufficient for the year. Young plants need more food so feed them four times, at the same rate, during the growing season. You could also use one of the “azalea – camellia” fertilizers or an organic fertilizer such as Milorganite. Apply the amount specified on the product label.

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